That was me when I embarked on my homeschooling journey. I pulled my daughter out of her first grade class in January of 2011. I was overwhelmed. I had planned on starting her with homeschooling for second grade. Life being what it is, through another curve ball my way and we jumped in the deep end of the homeschooling pool.
Ya know what? I can swim and we’re staying afloat!
While I admit, it’s definitely a transition from a brick and mortar school to educating at home, it’s not as scary as I thought it would. We made adjustments. I’ve done research, I’ve taken “tests” to judge how I teach and it’s a combination; less traditional, some unschooling, a bit of chapter learning and a very hands on approach.
The one thing I love about homeschooling, is it is definitely a place for games. No need to break the bank, consignment shops, yard sales, thrift stores all have reasonably priced games. I picked up a Kids’ Monopoly and a children’s Scrabble. Ok, so Elsa is on our Scrabble game. That game was $5.00 on clearance after Christmas. I’ll let it go that Elsa’s picture is on the Scrabble board.
When my 9-year old says, “Mom? Will play Monopoly with me?” I find myself saying yes more than no. Here are some things you might now have considered the benefits of playing Monopoly (at least the kids’ version):
- Uses fine and gross motor skills (stretching across the board, moving pieces…)
- Teaches math (adding or multiplying fines, counting how much money is left…)
- Teaches budgeting (can they afford that ticket booth (kids version of a hotel)
- Teaches strategy
- Development of reading skills (Chance cards)
- Teaches how to make change
- Teaches responsibility (set-up, clean-up)
- Teaches good sportsmanship (they will lose at some point)
- Use skip counting to move pieces around the board
- Bonding time with their mother, father, sibling, etc.
This is just one example of what a game can do. This would be considered “unschooling”. Yet, it’s a great way to help kids with math memory if they are struggling. It’s a challenge in a fun way.
I will also utilize games when my daughter is feeling distracted. She’s still learning but she refocusing her energy. Instead of letting her leave her studies we change her learning directive, even for 10-15 minutes. It lets her get out some energy and when we need to finish up a book lesson, she cooperates a lot more.
That is the freedom I love about homeschooling. I tailor my daughter’s education to suit her needs. She is still learning, still absorbing, only this way, she is more apt to remember because she associates the knowledge with something she enjoys.